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  • How Do I Find Out Who Accessed My Medical Records?

How Do I Find Out Who Accessed My Medical Records?

To find out who has accessed your medical records, you can request an “accounting of disclosures,” which is a record of all the entities that have accessed your medical records. This accounting will typically cover up to the six years prior to your request date. Here are the steps you should take, depending on the type of medical records you are referring to:

General Steps for All Types of Medical Records:

  • Contact Your Healthcare Provider: Reach out to the healthcare provider that maintains your records, whether it’s a hospital, clinic, dental office, or psychological practice. You may be able to request this information through their patient portal if one is available.
  • Written Request: You may need to submit a written request to access this information. Include your full name, date of birth, patient identification number (PIN), or medical record number (MRN), and specify the time frame for which you want the accounting.
  • Review the Response: Once you receive the accounting of disclosures, review the entities listed to see who has accessed your records. If you see any access that you did not authorize or recognize, you can follow up with the provider for more information.

Specific Steps for Different Types of Records:

  • Hospital or Clinic Records: Use the patient portal or contact the health information management department at the hospital or clinic. They are required to provide you with the accounting of disclosures.
  • Dental Records: Call your dentist’s office to find out what information they need from you to release the accounting of disclosures. You may need to fill out specific forms and possibly pay a fee.
  • Psychological Records: Contact your mental health provider directly. Note that there may be some restrictions on access to certain parts of your mental health records, such as psychotherapy notes.
  • HIPAA Compliance: Under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), you have the right to access your Protected Health Information (PHI) and to know who has accessed it.

If You Encounter Issues:

  • File a Complaint: If you believe your rights have been violated or if you have been denied access to the accounting of disclosures without a valid reason, you can file a complaint with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office for Civil Rights.
  • Legal Assistance: If necessary, seek legal assistance, especially if you suspect that your medical records have been accessed or disclosed improperly.

Remember to keep a copy of all correspondence and requests for your records. If you have any concerns about the privacy of your medical records or if you need further assistance, you can also contact your local or state health department for guidance.